Progressive lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded to a tweet by the Washington Redskins NFL team showing their support for #BlackOutTuesday.
The redskins tweeted:
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) June 2, 2020
AOC replied “Want to really stand for racial justice? Change your name.”
AOC’s tweet has now been liked over half a million times.
Per Yahoo, Washington has faced plenty of criticism over the years for its name, which was historically used as a slur towards Native Americans.
In 2017, a group of Native activists pulled off an elaborate hoax that tricked many sports fans into believing that the Washington Redskins had changed their controversial name, becoming the RedHawks.
“We created this action to show the NFL and the Washington Football franchise how easy, popular and powerful changing the name could be,” said Rebecca Nagle (Cherokee Nation), one of the organizers of the stunt at the time. “What we’re asking for changes only four letters. Just four letters! Certainly, the harm that the mascot does to Native Americans outweighs the very, very minor changes the franchise would need to make.”
Other efforts and campaigns have been made over the years with the hopes of getting Washington to change its name, but team owner Daniel Snyder has refused time and time again. “We’ll never change the name,” Snyder told USA Today in 2013. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”